Gorbachev Says Germans Should Stop Complaining | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 02.10.2003
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Gorbachev Says Germans Should Stop Complaining

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev weighed in on the eve of the 13th anniversary of German unification on Thursday when he told German mass-selling daily Bild that the Germans "should finally stop griping!" and stop looking at things so pessimistically. Gorbachev, largely credited with ending the arms race and the Cold War in the Soviet Union, said the Germans had it relatively good despite the economic crisis the country was facing and stressed that former communist East Germany was experiencing "a rejuvenation in all areas." The 72-year-old admitted that unemployment was a problem in Germany but added, "you have a unique social net worldwide." Referring to Germany's generous social welfare system, the former reformist premier said, "where else in the world can you find that someone who doesn’t work get more money than one who does?". Gorbachev said the constant complaining by the Germans made him ask himself "do you want to swap with us? Would you rather have the Russian problems?"